Venus' clouds could host extra terrestrial life

Venus' clouds could host extra terrestrial life

Northern Beaches News -
Is There Life Adrift in the Clouds of Venus?

The lower cloud layer of Venus (47.5-50.5 km) is an exceptional target for exploration due to the favorable conditions for microbial life, including moderate temperatures and pressures (~ 60 ° C and 1 atm), and the presence of micron-sized sulfuric acid aerosols. Venus 'contrasts and albedo are still unknown. It is the ultraviolet (UV) contrast of Venus' cloud layer that was discovered in the Earth-based photographs. While current models include sulfur dioxide and iron chloride as the UV absorbers, the temporal and spatial changes in contrasts, and albedo, between 330 and 500 nm, remain to be fully explained. Within this context, we present a discussion about the potential for microorganisms to survive in Venus' lower clouds and contributing to the observed spectra. In this article, we provide an overview of relevant Venus observations, compare the spectral and physical properties of Venus' clouds to terrestrial biological materials, review the potential for an iron- and sulfur-centered metabolism in the clouds, discuss conceivable mechanisms of transport from the surface to a habitable zone in the clouds, and the spectral and biological experiments that could measure the habitability of Venus' clouds and terrestrial analogues. Together, our lines of reasoning suggest that particles in Venus' lower clouds contain sufficient mass balance to harbor microorganisms, water, and solutes, and potentially sufficient to detect by optical methods. As such,

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